COMMENTARY:This week’s reports on April New Home Sales, April Durable Goods Orders and the revised second-quarter Gross Domestic Product figures were expected to be the primary items affecting mortgage rates as we headed into the Memorial Day Weekend.  Irrespective of Wednesday’s new home sales unexpected 16.6% increase, mortgage rates remained relatively unchanged if not a bit lower.  Additionally, the mortgage market closed early at 2:00 p.m. today and it will remain closed on Monday, May 30th for the Memorial Day Holiday.

Looking ahead to next week, the most significant impediment to the prospects for lower mortgage interest rates is the “will they – or won’t they” debate raging among investors regarding the likelihood of a 25 basis-points rate hike

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>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Every morning, I get up and look through the 'Forbes' list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work." --Robert Orben, American professional comedy writer

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE ... Plenty of home builders went to work last month, as Housing Starts shot up 6.6% in April to a 1.172 million unit annual rate. Some negative Nellies pointed out starts suffered a big decline in March, so April's number is still down 1.7% from a year ago. But that's actually all due to a slow-down in multi-family construction. Single-family starts are up 4.3% the past year. Likewise, new building permits for single-family units are up 8.4% versus a year ago, while overall permits were up 3.6% in

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COMMENTARY: As the week draws to a close mortgage interest rates have drifted fractionally higher as evidenced by today’s ratesheet.  Mortgage investors have become increasingly skittish with news from the Labor Department indicating inflation pressure is rising at the consumer level and Wednesday afternoon's “heads up” from the Fed indicating the central bank is ready to institute another rate hike – perhaps as early as the mid-June.  This morning’s news from the National Association of Realtors showing existing homes in April posted a solid 1.7% month-over-month gain drew nothing more than a passing glance from mortgage investors.

The coming week will feature April New Home Sales on Tuesday, April Durable Goods Orders on Thursday, and a look at

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Investors who normally would look to finding a distressed property and doing a remodel  are now flocking toward properties that would make a good rental because of income potential and cash flow. The perception is now that house 'flipping' is out, while becoming a landlord is the new in and it's easy to see why.

Rents have been skyrocketing during the past year growing at almost 3.5% during the past year alone which brings them near a seven year high. Now investors can realize not only a steady stream of income, but the prospect of an even higher stream of income in the coming years ahead. When you look at what savings accounts and government Treasury bonds are paying, the rental returns look pretty darn juicy to many Americans.

The demographic of

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>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." --Walt Disney, American entrepreneur and animation pioneer

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE ... There's always lots to talk about in the housing market, but happily what more people have begun doing is actually buying homes. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported existing home sales saw their best first quarter in almost a decade. The NAR chief economist painted this picture: "In spite of deficient supply levels, stock market volatility and the paltry economic growth seen so far this year, the housing market did show resilience and had its best first quarter of existing sales since 2007." For single-family homes and condos, that was a

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COMMENTARY: Mortgage interest rates did little more than tread water this week as investors struggled to predict the future.  The big news of the week came in the form of the Commerce Department’s April Retail Sales report earlier today.  The pace of sales at the nation’s retailers surged 1.3% higher last month – the strongest gain since March of 2015.  In a separate report, the Labor Department said inflation pressures remained well contained last month.  Accelerated economic growth over the coming weeks & months will tend to put upward pressure on mortgage interest rates and vice versa.  It may be worth noting the Atlanta Fed’s “GDPNow” model is projecting the economy will grow at a 2.2% annualized pace in this year’s second-quarter after posting a

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>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1." --Warren Buffett, American business magnate, investor and philanthropist

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE ... The weekend before last, Mr. Buffett spoke at his company's annual meeting and the "Oracle of Omaha" asserted that the housing market is on stable footing. He said the likelihood of another crisis brought on by falling home prices is "very low." "I don't see a nationwide bubble in real estate right now at all. In Omaha and other parts of the country, people are not paying bubble prices for real estate." A leading real estate information firm agrees. They reportedhome prices were up 6.7% year-over-year in March and the firm forecasts

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COMMENTARY:As the week draws to a close, mortgage interest rates have edged fractionally lower supported largely by last week’s weaker-than-expected report on the pace of economic growth in the first three-months of the year and today’s slightly anemic report on April job creation.  The Job’s Report estimated that the economy created 160,000 new jobs in April and it also revised their February and March estimates lower by a collective 19,000 jobs.  For what it is worth -- the Labor Department data wonks say their confidence interval with their “official” payroll number is 90% -- which equates to roughly about 104,000 jobs either high or low.  From that perspective -- it is almost a sure bet that today’s headline payroll number will be revised either up or

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COMMENTARY:The March Personal Income and Spending figures released this morning by the Commerce Department were generally mortgage market friendly.  Incomes advanced by a solid 0.4% while spending gained a very modest 0.1%.  Inflation pressure at the consumer level posted a blunt 0.1% month-over-month gain.  On a year-over-year basis, the index has risen 1.6% -- well below the Fed’s targeted growth rate of 2.0%.   Boiling all this mumbo-jumbo down to its bare essence -- the story here is inflation pressures are currently benign – and that is good news for the prospects of steady to perhaps fractionally lower mortgage interest rates ahead. 

Looking ahead to the coming week’s economic calendar, the private Institute of Supply Management is scheduled to

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COMMENTARY:The 300+ point rally in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the course of the first three days of the week -- plus Wednesday’s solid March Existing Home Sales numbers and Thursday’s weekly initial jobless claims report showing labor market conditions remain robust -- proved to be enough to induce mortgage investors to nudge interest rates fractionally higher. 

Looking ahead to the next five business days -- a considerable amount of media hype will undoubtedly swirl around the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day monetary policy session scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Some market participants fear continuing signs of labor market strength opens the door for the Fed to bump their benchmark short-term interest rate 25 basis-points

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